It is a Japanese word that literally translated means “properly sitting”, and it is not exclusive of karate but all the Japanese culture preaches it as well as all its martial arts.
Sitting in Seiza has conditions that should never be altered and these are:
- Kneeling on the floor throwing one leg back, (doing it forward is considered an attitude of arrogance). Which of the two legs is the one that should be delayed is a question that varies, depending on what activity is going to be performed in seiza, in each martial art different criteria are followed since the fact of sitting is a danger that requires attention and attitudes of prevention towards an attack.
- The buttocks should rest on the heels.
- The instep of the feet should go on the floor.
- When the karate dojo is in seiza the hands should go on the thighs, with the thumbs inwards, but if meditation is ordered (Moxo) they are placed on the lap using the Hokkai-join mudra (the Buddha Hotoke mudra inzo).
- We must understand that by placing the hands on the lap, the column is in a more straight position, more suitable for meditation, but when doing it is no longer considered to be in seiza, but in zazen.
- Currently in the modern karate Dojo, the meditation is done with different mudras depending on the personal criteria of the sensei, and the hands can be on the thighs.
- The back should remain straight, when performing seiza, for this, it is necessary to throw something back on the shoulders, and the thorax also flexes backward.
- The separation of the knees to stay in seiza is variable depending on the school or style because in some they go almost together while in others it is recommended that they should be as open as possible.
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